The Spectacle of Excess Posts

July 19, 2017 /

Run-ins are the bane of anyone trying to look back and re-assemble a story in wrestling.  You could, for example, watch every single match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in the WWE and never come across the first time they interacted on Raw–because it happened at the end of a match between Kevin and Neville, where Sami comes out and interrupts a post-match beatdown: Lots of feuds and alliances are born in unrelated matches,…

July 14, 2017 /

It’s a question wrestling fans ask themselves with a regularity that’s surprising, given the nature of the industry: Which of these people could win a fight for real? The Legit Tough Guy is the answer, a folkloric figure whose assured existence and debated identity is perhaps unique to wrestling, which straddles the line between sport and drama. It’s hard to imagine ballet-goers, for instance, debating which ballerina is a swan in real life, and there’s…

July 5, 2017 /

[Warning that there are gifs in here of Sami’s match with John Cena, which he fought with a legit injury.] My father was known for approaching life with teasing irony.  Nothing was as it seemed on the surface.  “Oh, these cupcakes are terrible, let me save you from them,” he would say while pretending to steal them away, to be thwarted by giggling shrieks of protest.  “Santa got lost this year, so there are no…

July 3, 2017 /

On Sunday July 2, 2017, in his Twitter war with CNN, the president of the United States dropped a gif meme like an awkwardly-aimed missile, in which footage of him pounding on Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 was altered so that McMahon’s head is the CNN logo. Behold: It’s so bizarre to be writing about this. I shouldn’t be surprised after the recent trajectory of increasing surrealism in the Trump storyline—the orb, covfefe, Reality Winner,…

June 22, 2017 /

So let’s say you’re an inexperienced wrestling fan who’s made an unwise and hasty vow to watch everything two indie wrestlers have ever done over the last 13 years (let’s say you’re me).  This is kind of like suddenly being handed a huge bag of Lego blocks and told “Here it is, there’s a really cool thing here, but you have to do the work to put it together.”  You stare at all the tiny…

June 12, 2017 /

This is the third installment of a five part series called On The -isms of Punkrockbigmouth. Check the first two here and here. Whereas PRBM’s crosshatching and impressionism are astute stylistic choices for her medium and subject, foreshortening is a very practical technique that bring the art of wrestling’s action and physicality into a visual space in such a way that allows a fast-moving tangle of bodies to be visually comprehensible. An object is foreshortened when…

June 7, 2017 /

I am hating Kevin Owens. I know the grammar sounds wonky there, but believe me, it’s accurate.  It’s early 2015, I am in the passenger seat of a rental car driving down the Florida coast, and I am consciously, deliberately, and actively hating Kevin Owens. From the driver’s seat, Dan listens patiently as I list once more the new NXT champ’s offenses:  assault, title-stealing, repeated powerbombing, gloating, and generalized friendship failure are only the beginning…

May 24, 2017 /

Usually one wouldn’t describe a severed artery as a “lucky break” for anyone.  But this is wrestling, so sure, why not.   By mid-2004, the tireless work of IWS’s publicist, Michael Ryan, has gotten some IWS wrestlers spots in two East Coast promotions, Jersey All Pro and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW).  One of them, Sexxxy Eddy, slices his arm in the middle of a CZW hardcore match, hits an artery and ends up with a…

May 23, 2017 /

Greetings Spectacle Readers! I have several cool posts simmering, but I’m feeling inspired to keep up with the prolific J.J. McGee, who has brought this blog back to awesome with her bi-weekly Sami/Kevin history project! Instead of trying to force my next Punkrockbigmouth art crit piece to completion before it’s fully cooked this week, I’m sharing the first chapter of the novel I wrote for my MFA thesis well over a decade ago. I wasn’t ready to…

May 10, 2017 /

I’m watching wrestling while hiding under the sheets so my parents won’t catch me. Clarification: I am a grown-ass human being of full adulthood, and I’m watching wrestling while hiding under the sheets so my parents won’t catch me. This is because I still haven’t figured out a way to explain to my parents that it’s terribly important I watch Sami Zayn defend his NXT title against Kevin Owens; that I have in fact flown…